An animal attack can be a frightening, traumatic event in your life. Perhaps a dog attacked you while you were out walking, running or even taking your own pet for a walk. Dog bites can be serious injuries, and you have the right to learn your legal options after something like this happens. It’s possible you could have grounds for a civil claim.
Dog bite victims sometimes assume there is nothing they can do after an attack. In reality, there are steps you may be able to take that will allow you to hold liable parties accountable for what you experienced. After a dog bite, you may want to take quick action to learn about how you can move forward and get what you need to recover from the incident.
After an incident involving an attack from an animal, what you do next matters. There are certain things that can help strengthen your case should you decide to move forward with legal action. Some of the things you may want to do include:
- Exchange information — If possible, exchange information with the owner of the animal. This can help if you need to verify the dog’s vaccination records or contact the owner.
- Seek medical care — Even shallow dog bites run the risk of becoming infected. More serious, deeper puncture wounds can bleed, and tissue or ligament damage is possible. Immediate medical care is important.
- Animal control — You may want to file a report with the local Animal Control so that you can prevent another incident from happening in the future.
- Witnesses — If anyone else witnessed the incident, you will want to get their contact information so they can help verify your claim and provide a clear picture regarding what happened.
It is also helpful if you document what happened. Take pictures of your injuries, and write down as much as you can about the attack. This will help when you are trying to build a personal injury case.
Do you have a case?
Every situation is different, which is why it is helpful to seek an evaluation of your case as soon as possible after a dog bite. This will help you understand the legal options available to you, possibly including a civil claim against the dog owner. The Illinois civil justice system provides a way for victims of certain types of incidents to pursue fair compensation for their pain and suffering.